Synopses & Reviews
Under My Roof
, based on Archanians
by Aristophanes, is the story of telepathic tween Herbert Weinberg, whose father Daniel decides to strike a blow for freedom by building a nuclear device, planting it in the lawn jockey in his front yard, and declaring independence from the United States.
The Long Island household is predictably turned upside down. Mother is out, a local weatherman is in, and he becomes both a hostage and Minister of Information. Though troops surround the belligerent ranch house-state, the appeal of independence becomes too much for many. A daring raid to kidnap Herb and bring him back to his mother snatches the boy prince from his ancestral home. Meanwhile, the house is filling up with former American refuseniks. Can the refrigerator hold out?
However, the seed has already been planted. All over America, people are declaring their independence, and simply by traveling from lawn to lawn across "the country," Herbert is able to reunite with his father and defeat American imperialism with a final burst of his telepathic powers.
"In this hilarious near-future political satire, a Long Island father-son duo strike a blow for individual freedom by building a nuclear bomb, hiding it in a lawn gnome and declaring independence from the United States. The world, as seen by telepathic 12-year-old narrator Herbert Weinberg, is grim: Latin America has been declared evil (and Canada is the 'White Menace'), the president talks of nuclear strikes and planes are blown out of the California sky. Herbert's laid-off father, Daniel, has a Patriot Day freak out, and after he and Herb build the nuke and fax out a press release proclaiming the creation of the kingdom of Weinbergia, the cops, FBI and National Guard descend on the home. Herb's mom, Geri, splits, and as the media pick up on the story (the local weatherman is the first hostage of the 'armed micronation'), Weinbergia mania sweeps the nation (even the local Qool Mart convenience store proclaims itself an Islamic republic) and Daniel and Herbie become cult heroes. Trouble looms for Herb, who is kidnapped and briefly reunited with his mother. A big-bang ending caps the fast-paced novel, and there's much fun to be had watching Mamatas (Move Under Ground; Northern Gothic) merrily skewer his targets." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] wise, witty and groundbreaking novel....Mamatas has pulled off the rare feat of writing a novel that's intelligent, joyfully probing and still breezy fun to talk about over appetizers or desserts." BookSlut
"[A]n oddball, occasionally hilarious, surprisingly wise and out-and-out subversive little pocket-nuke of a book." San Diego Union-Tribune
"Under My Roof is accurate, fast-moving satire that transcends mere target shooting by virtue of its narrator, Daniel's 12-year-old son, Herbie....The scary thing about Under My Roof is that some readers might feel more secure being ruled by a telepathic adolescent than by anyone currently in power." Los Angeles Times
"Nick Mamatas is one of the liveliest and most exciting new writers around." Thomas Beller, author of The Sleep-Over Artist
"Nick Mamatas has written a witty, surprising, smart book. It's the first (and best) young adult satire about nuclear arms, lawn gnomes, mind-reading, and growing up. Herbert Weinberg is my favorite 12-year-old and he knows it." Zoe Trope, author of Please Don't Kill The Freshman
Herbert Weinbergs father is striking a blow for freedom. Implanting a nuclear device within a garden gnome in the front yard of their Long Island home, hes declared independence from the U.S. The household is understandably is an uproar. Mothers gone, the local weatherman has moved in, and 12-year-old Herbert is simultaneously a hostage and the Minister of Information. A daring raid plucks the lad from his ancestral home, but even while troops surround the belligerent house-state of Weinbergia, the call to freedom has been sounded. The house is rapidly filling up with American refuseniks. Can the refrigerator hold out? And will Herberts telepathic powers defeat imperialism and reunite him with his father? Based on Aristophaness Archanians, Under My Roof is funny, ambitous novel.
About the Author
Nick Mamatas is the author of the Civil War ghost story for Marxists, Northern Gothic, and the Lovecraftian Beat road novel for shut-ins, Move Under Ground, which was nominated for both the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards for first novel. His short fiction has appeared in the Mississippi Review, Razor, the German music magazine Spex, and a dozen other publications. His reportage and essays have appeared in the Village Voice, The Writer, In These Times, and various Disinformation and BenBella Books anthologies. A native New Yorker, Nick now lives near, but not in, Boston.